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Scott Atkin's Blog

ScottAtkin CDL BioPhoto Round200

Scott Atkin is a co-founder and VP of Materials Research & Development at Digital Dental, a dental lab owner for nearly 40 years.   Scott has a degree in Dentistry plus a masters degree as a dental technician from the Royal Hospital of London.  He was one of the first people in the US to pioneer zirconia as a dental material, and was the original creative mind behind the US-leading Crystal brand of dental materials.  He was the first person to ever create a full contour zirconia restoration using CAD / CAM and is the inventor of coloring techniques used by most labs in the US today.

superspindle 200w

IMPORTANT NEWS - JUNE 2017: According to news reports, the FDA began sending abutment warning letters to dozens of dental labs over a year ago.  However, in recent months, a number of US labs have reported further action, including being audited and shut down by the FDA for not complying with current guidelines regarding milling titanium abutments.  As a result, numerous labs have ceased milling abutments which has created even greater opportunity for those who have enacted FDA compliant solutions.  If you want to know more about the types of violations and corrective actions that we have helped other labs resolve, please call us at 480.744.0085.

Introducing the new Dental Mill 4HD and 5HD, our best-in-class solution for creating cost-effective FDA compliant abutments:
   ♦ 2.3 kW max power “Super Spindle”
   ♦ Ultra-fine oil misting system
   ♦ Faster milling of hard composites
   ♦ Mill abutments in under 30 minutes
   ♦ Blanks for all major implant systems
   ♦ Mill six units at a time

Compatible with implants from Straumann®, Zimmer®, Nobel Biocare®, Biomet 3i®, Hiossen®, BioHorizons®, AstraTech®, MIS® and more.

The Digital Dental abutment system is the quickest, easiest and least expensive path to FDA compliance, a comprehensive step-by-step plan that involves FDA compliant equipment, materials, procedures and quality standards with FDA accepted installation, documentation, implementation and training steps.

For a limited time only receive one free year of service and support valued at $3,600.

The Dirty Secret of 98.5mm Discs

dd disc crystal anterior dual 2017a 300hOne of the dirty little secrets of 98.5mm zirconia discs is that they really don't offer 98.5mm of working space.  The outer indented ring part of the disc is 2.5mm thick, leaving only 93.5mm to work with.  However, our Digital Dental discs are true 100mm discs PLUS an outer plastic ring, which not only saves on zirconia costs but improves stability in the mill.  And while we sell our 100mm discs for the same price as 98.5mm discs, they typically yield 20% more restorations.

Most 98.5mm zirconia discs actually start out as 100mm discs, and they are then turned on a lathe and reduced to 98.5mm discs with stepped-down 93.5mm working areas.  This results in extra processing time and extra work, and the zirconia that is cut away by the lathe is simply discarded, which is why we can offer a 100mm disc for the same price as a smaller 93.5mm disc area.

20% More Restorations per Disc

Using the formula for the area of a circle (A = π r2), a 100mm disc yields 7,854 sq. mm of area compared to 6,866 sq. mm for the 93.5mm working area of a 98.5mm disc.  Our trusty area formula proves there is a 14.4% increase in zirconia material in each of our 100mm discs.

But in practice, the results are even better.  Due to (1) the average size of a dental restoration, (2) the shrink factor, and (3) the round shape of a disc, our customers are seeing an average of 20% more restorations per disc.  This 20% number is based upon aggregated production data from customers who own and compare milling machines that use both 98.5mm and 100mm discs.

Let's look at a sample nesting below.  These discs were nested with a conservative nesting approach in groups of 2-3 restorations per group.  This is our recommended nesting strategy, and we believe it allows for maximum yield per disc with minimal risk of breakage.  Some companies nest tighter, in groups of 4-5 or even more, and some don't do any groupings, but the majority of labs nest conservatively like this.

nest 100mm 300h nest 98mm 4extra 300h
 100mm Digital Dental Disc 98.5mm Disc 

Using a conservative nesting strategy, the 100mm disc on the left produced four more crowns than the 98.5mm disc, which is a 26.7% improvement.  This is just one example, but it illustrates how our customers typically generate 20% more yield out of our discs.

nest 98mm overlap 300h

To help better understand how this is possible, let's talk about pizza.  If you think of discs as pizzas, and you are laying down pepperoni, you can imagine that depending on the size of the average pepperoni slice, a slightly larger pizza might be able to get a lot more pepperoni on the pizza.  

To the right is a nesting image of the 100mm layout on top of a 98.5mm disc.  You can see that the small difference in diameter can make a big difference.  Now if teeth were about half the size (or maybe all anteriors), and if we didn't have a 25% shrink rate with zirconia, the improvement might be closer to 15% rather than 20% in practice (or even 30% as per the example above).

So, are you ready to try out our 100mm "no waste" discs to see what your improvement will be?  Call us at 480.948.0466, and we'll see if we can start increasing your yield today.

thumb anterior trainingDigital Dental released a new series of training and support materials for our Crystal Anterior zirconia 100mm discs.  During the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to existing Digital Dental customers with a one-time offer to receive free coloring liquids when you make your initial bulk purchase of Anterior discs.  Included in the kit is a 3D transitional shading guide with step by step instructions on how to make the most esthetically compelling anterior restorations that can be made out of zirconia today.

Crystal Anterior Zirconia was launched in February of 2016 at LMT Lab Day in Chicago and is our most successful product launch to date, even eclipsing the success of Crystal Diamond.  Crystal Anterior is even more translucent than industry-leading Diamond and is at least 10% stronger than other Tosoh zpek-based zirconias, which is the most translucent base powder available for making anterior zirconia.

For more information on the Crystal Anterior Starter Kit with free coloring liquids and training materials (one per customer, existing customers only), please call Karen at 480-948-0466.

rest denturesCo-founder of Digital Dental, Scott Atkin, is now teaching master classes in Scottsdale Arizona on state-of-the-art Full Arch Implant Restorations.

In these classes, you will learn about:

  • When to use zirconia  vs hybrid nano-ceramic materials such as Crystal Ultra
  • Titanium compared to Crystal Tritan frameworks
  • How to create realistic looking gum esthetics
  • How to customize for various implant systems
  • EZE LOC system for easily removable implant restorations

This master classes is by invitation only, primarily for customers who already have experience with implant restorations and Crystal Ultra and other materials.   To be informed about the next class, or to arrange for custom training, please call Scott at 480-948-0466.

blackbar training.fwDigital Dental, always a leader in partner training, recently extended our training programs to offer a wider variety of solutions to help you be more successful and profitable.

Side-by-side Training in Scottsdale, AZ

Across the street from our headquarters in Scottsdale are the offices of Creative Dental Laboratory, a wholey owned Digital Dental subsidiary that provides advanced case outsourcing and custom support and training services for all of our customers worldwide.   Creative is the first in a series of "Digital Dental Centers of Excellence," which are labs that use our solutions and provide advanced customized training and support regarding our systems, materials, and processes.  In addition to classes, customers who visit a Digital Dental Center of Excellence will also have an opportunity to meet and work side-by-side with our technicians to do casework appropriate for your training.

Custom On-site Training

In addition to machine installation and training which is usually done on-site, our best practices lab team can also tailor on-site materials and esthetics training for you and your entire staff.  A member of team will join you in your lab and work side-by-side with your leadership and technicians to teach you new techniques, improve your quality standards and workmanship, and assist with workflow issues.   Call us to discss your needs case and we will give you a custom proposal ranging from two to five days of on-site training.

Online & Video Training

Our ever-expanding library of video training is available via DVDs, online, webinars, support videos, and youtube.  Most of our training is publicly available, except for proprietary solutions and techniques which are only available to existing customers.  Our video training regarding our machines is available via our support portal, and the most recent training regarding materials is either available as printed step-by-step guides or on DVD.

Pre-Sales Training

For customers considering our solutions, we sometimes offer a unique opportunity to "try before you buy" by visiting either our Arizona headquarters or our California manufacturing facility.  We will invite you to bring a case (or a few) with you, and we will work the cases side-by-side with you to show you the entire digital dental solution.  Spend two half days with us and you will return with finished casework manufactured according to our best practices and exacting standards.

For more information on these and other training solutions, call us at 480.948.0466.

arizona

headquarters
14201 N 87th St #D145
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480.948.0466

california

manufacturing
26072 Merit Circle #109
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
949.582.1750

hours

monday - friday
8:00 am - 5:00pm